After an extensive search process, Brevard County has selected veteran Florida marketing executive Peter Cranis as its new head of tourism development.
Following the confirmation of his appointment on Feb. 12 by the board of county commissioners, Cranis, who has roots in Brevard County, takes over March 4 as executive director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism, which is based in Cocoa.
County Manager Frank Abbate selected Cranis for the new post.
“Peter Cranis comes to us with an exceptional track record of leadership and growth, having led highly effective and expansive marketing programs that have stretched around the world. We look forward to working with him on advancing the mission of the Space Coast Office of Tourism,” said Abbate.
Cranis is widely regarded for his expertise in strategic planning and in positioning products and services for growth, profitability and global success. His skill set ranges from organizational leadership and executive management to strategic marketing and international market development.
Cranis has spent his entire professional career in various marketing and related communications positions in Florida. He most recently served as Head of Marketing and Sales for ICON Orlando (formerly the Orlando Eye), the 400-foot observation wheel in the heart of Orlando’s tourism district, where he positioned the attraction as the iconic image for all news related to Orlando, much like the London Eye has been for that city.
From 1999 to 2016, Cranis was vice president of global consumer and convention marketing for Visit Orlando, the city’s official tourism association. At Visit Orlando, Cranis was responsible for delivering record-breaking advertising and marketing programs worldwide, including campaigns in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. He last oversaw a $25 million marketing budget that produced more than $14 million in ticket sales, while generating more than $5 million in partner revenue.
“I am honored and excited to be stepping into the role of executive director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism,” Cranis said. “The Space Coast is an amazing place to live, work and play, and it has so much to offer its visitors. Tourism is critically important to the economic health of Brevard County – essential to job creation, business growth, keeping taxes low, and enhancing the quality of life for residents. I look forward to promoting the Space Coast as a premier vacation destination that benefits both visitors and the community.”
Cranis graduated from Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne and received an associate degree from Brevard Community College before earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s in communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
A member of the UCF Nicholson School of Communications Hall of Fame, Cranis was a longtime adjunct professor at UCF and is a former chairman of the UCF Alumni Association board of directors.
Cranis replaces Eric Garvey, who served as executive director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism for nearly four years before departing last July. Bonnie King, the office’s deputy director, has been acting as interim executive director since that time, and will retire in June 2019.